last.fm to influence the charts?

Image of last.fmFrom The Guardian, Wed 22 August 2007.

Hey chart fans, Music Week, the industry bible (in an old-fashioned print sort of way), will begin printing charts from data generated from last.fm. It seems the ‘industry’ is creaming itself about the stats that we are producing voluntarily as we listen to music on our computers and iPods etc.

It is the site, say aficionados, that discovered Arctic Monkeys long before their much discussed emergence on MySpace. It noted the popularity of Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy, the bestselling single of 2006, weeks before it became the first ever number one based solely on download sales.

Now its influence on the music industry has been officially acknowledged. Music Week, the influential trade title, will this week publish a chart based on the internet listening habits of the social networking site Last.fm, the first time the magazine has included data from an online supplier.

This could be interesting. The Postal Service’s ‘Such Great Heights’ was the most-listened to track in last.fm for aeons before the site went supernova and was bought by CBS, and it’s still in the upper etchelons. This could prompt a re-release or a remix for well-deserving but underexposed tracks such as this one. Linkin Park and Muse are currently atop the pile. Yawn.

Alas, the most-listened to artists  are similarly conservative: The above two round off a Top 5 lead by The Beatles, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Radiohead. Oh dear.

Can I suggest that you download and play some of my mixes on repeat, so that I can get into the charts. A dream fulfilled!

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8 comments

  1. conortje

    I must say it does make me smile to think the Beatles are still at the top all these years later. Of course I can understand it as they are the soul of my whole musical taste. Incidentally my work has banned Last FM which I found extremely annoying. I could cope with the others like MySpace, You Tube, Facebook etc but Last FM? what harm does it do?It still scrobbles what play at work though which makes me feel like a rebel.
    Such Great Heights is a great tune indeed but it’s been out for donkeys years at this stage surely. In fact Ithought I heard they were working (posting?) on their follow up album.

  2. eguinan

    Maybe it’s because of teh bandwidth used up from listening to last.fm radio? Or they are just killjoys. Bah.

    I do hope there’s a new Postal Service album on the way. Death Cab For Cutie’s last album had some good moments (if a bit Grey’s Anatomy overall). I never quite got into Dntel either, so maybe they work best together.

  3. manuel

    If I may be so bold to recommend Oppenheimer, they are like a Belfast version of THE POSTAL SERVICE. Quality tunes. I signed up to last.fm months ago but got bored with it very quickly. But I thought I would give it ago again, you will have noticed this….

  4. eguinan

    Be bold indeed. Just grabbed a couple of the freebies Oppenheimer have on last.fm. V good. Interesting that this is the first time I’ve heard of ’em and I just read about them today in Hot Press. Spooky!

  5. alan

    I love “This is not a test” by Oppenheimer. I don’t think it’s one of the freebies, but it’s a good track. They’re playing electric picnic too I think.

  6. Minge

    I played you yesterday.

    Does that sound as dirty to you as it does to me?

    I keep getting prompted, on launching the last fm scrobbled, to download a new version. I then have to relaunch it – only to get asked to do the download again, and again, and again…! Aaarrrggghhh!

  7. themilkman

    I kinda given up checking the overall charts when I got bored of seeing Radiohead as the most played band week in week out (or, perhaps, should it be weak in, weak out). Songs may perhaps be a bit more relevant, still I doubt that my listening habits would ever heavily influence the published charts.

  8. eguinan

    I know what you mean. Although I get a weird little pleasure from sometimes seeing a song I’ve listened to appearing low down in the charts of a group. I guess that’s the male ‘I-like-lists’ part of my brain being stimulated.

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